Skip to main content

Full text of "NightRider"

See other formats


406

temper to the blade, and the sound hit makes when the hide
gives offn the meat to a good long pull. Then, off a-ways,
the coyotes singen, and come-en closter.

"We skinned 'em all, all seventy-two, and taken the
tongues, And the mops off'n the hulls. We loaded the
wagon, and started up the rise, not have-en et, and plumb
tuckered. Nigh halfway up the rise, I recollect, I looked
back. The moon was ride-en high, and the ground down
thar looked white lak water, I recollect, and them carcases
sticken up lak black rocks outer water.

" But a man didn't make him a stand ever day. Not by a
sight, I kin tell you. He'd try the wind and git down wind,
and start move-en in, slow and keerful, crawlen a good piece
maybe. They started move-en, and hit was time. Two hun-
dred paces and you was lucky. But a Sharp's will shoot lak
a cannon. Hit's a fact.

"But one way and ernuther, by and large, we taken our
share, Mingo and me. Winter and summer. And not us
only. In Charlie Rath's sheds in Dodge City, many's the
time with my own eyes I seen fifty-sixty thousand hides baled
up and waiten, and his loaden yard so thick with wagons a
man could nigh cross hit and ne'er set foot to ground.
Wagons standen nigh hub to hub, and loaded, and fellers
just in and likkered up and snake-mean,- and cussen, waiten
to git shed of their take. A time hit was, with money free
lak sweat on a nigger, and men outer the war and from fer
countries, and the likker runnen lak water. A power of
meanness, and no denyen. But a man could git a-long, and
not have him no trouble to spe,ak on. If n he tended to his
business, and was God-fearen, and ne'er taken no back-sass
off'n no man.

"We got our'n and didn't reckon on no end, hit looked
lak. But a man's that-a-way. He sees sumthen, and don't
reckon on no end, no way, and don't see hit a-come-en.
They's a hoggishness in man, and a hog-blindness. Down
off'n Medicine Lodge Crick, one time, I was standen on a
little rise, in the spring, and the buffalo was a-move-en.